CNC rocket parts, lasered rolling pins, robot contests, and a visit to the Harvest Bash

Hello everyone,

With final exams beginning the week after next, it’s hard to believe that the semester is almost over.  And what a ride it’s been!  So many new faces in the 3D Lab, so many projects.  Community members visit the lab practically every day, people of all ages.  It’s wonderful how word gets around that we provide this service to the community, making ideas a reality.  Both the 3D Lab and 3D Lounge next door are filled with students; sometimes our six 3D printers were barely enough to meet everyone’s needs.  It’s a good kind of problem.  🙂

 

One of our “think big” community members, Ben Ault, is into model rockets that climb thousands of feet.  He participated in the Mini Maker Faire earlier this year and has big plans for his next rocket.

Ben needed to fabricate a convex, clear window for a large nosecone that he 3D printed.  To form the mold for this window, he created the shape in CAD then carved it out of wood with the CNC mill provided by the Wayne County Community Foundation.  The mold was covered in clear material, placed in an home oven, then baked to harden into the window shape.  A perfect use for a CNC machine!

 

One of our students is enjoying the creative, artistic side of the 3D lab.  With a little bit of help, she learned CAD design on her own to creative musical notes which she 3D printed.  Since our laser engraver supports cylindrical objects, she engraved a beautiful design onto a rolling pin for her grandmother, courtesy of P. Graham Dunn.  We learned that the rotary device does not grip cylindrical wood products reliably, but wrapping the rolling pin’s edges in Scotch tape fixed that problem.

 

Students in the Tools for Engineering class, taught by Scott Gold, are busy building robots to accomplish set tasks, from delivering marked cargo, to stair climbing machines, to battle bots in an arena!

The first type of robots were put-to-the-test last week.  The machines travel down an aisle, detect a certain colored 3D printed cube, pick it up, then deliver it to a particular location.  Some students heavily used sensors from the LEGO Mindstorms kits to detect the aisle distance & shape, cube color, and other physical characteristics of the environment.  There were some spectacular successes as well as failures, the latter of which were more important because of what was learned.

 

Recently the 3D Lab made a road trip to Wooster for the annual Harvest Bash hosted by CIRCLE Coalition.  This free family event included food, games, music, and a costume contest, held at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School.  Adults and kids of all ages were fascinated with 3D printing, a first-time experience for many of them.  A number of community members brought themselves and their kids to the 3D Lab in the days/weeks after the event to create personal works of their own.  The 3D Lab is always a hit when we go on the road!

 

Stay tuned as we wrap-up the semester with more student engineered robots, community projects, and lots of unexpected surprises in the 3D Lab!

Until next week,

Tom

3D printers are taking a delicious turn for the better.  This pancake printer makes flat shapes from your 3D printable files.  It really takes the cake (I mean, batter)!

http://www.storebound.com/storebound/pancakebot-products

 

Not sure what to buy your creative “maker” friends for Christmas?  Look no further than this Make: Magazine holiday buying guide:
https://makezine.com/giftguide

 

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  The event is free to attend and participate.  To be a maker at the faire, be sure to signup here.  We’d love to have you there!

 

Don’t miss December’s Maker Monday which is Monday, December 18th at 7:00 at The Schantz Organ Company!  Also coming up is their kid-friendly “Build a Snowman” event on Saturday, December 9th (reservations necessary).

 

We offer a free “listserv” that allows to you ask questions to members in the makerspace. It’s great for sharing ideas, forming friendships, and helping & advising each other. To join, send an email to listserv@lists.uakron.edu with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.

Building robots, engraving bare metal, and a visit to the Salvation Army

Hello everyone,

It’s hard to believe that we’re into the seventh week of classes this Fall semester.  Every day brings students and community members into the 3D Lab; I try to recap some of their stories in these bi-weekly blogs.  One never knows what to expect from day to day; two weeks ago folks were 3D scanning rare bird eggs and a dead chipmunk!  But that’s a story for another day…

This semester, we welcome three new student assistants to the 3D Lab: Sri, Rahul, and Desmond.  All are helpful and interesting to get to know: Rahul is into website design and programming, Sri is very creative and knows most all of the equipment in the lab, and Desmond plays more musical instruments than I know exist.  Be sure to stop-in to see how they can help you!

 

This semester also brings one of the largest Tools for Engineering classes that I have seen in a while.  In the Fall semester, students build LEGO Mindstorms robots to perform tasks and eventually battle with.  The 3D Lounge outside of the 3D Lab has become a popular place for building their robots with lots of table space and 3D printers nearby to create parts.

 

Stay tuned as students finish their robots that will toss weighted cubes a calculated distance, run an obstacle course, and of course, participate in the hotly anticipated battle bots tournament!

 

Typical laser engravers use a CO2 laser that is effective upon wood, glass, rubber, ceramic, leather, plastics, and acrylic.  While it can remove paint from metal, leaving a shiny imprint, a CO2 laser cannot engrave nor cut bare metal because of its reflective surface.

Community members from Cornerstone Elementary School in Wooster opened a new playground last year and wanted to engrave metal dedication plaques.  They used a “laser marking” spray that, when a laser beam is applied, permanently bonds to the metal, resulting in a high-contrast image.  This can be used to engrave bare metal, glass, and ceramics with a sharp black (or other color) image, regardless of the underlying material color.

In the photo above, the light lettering is after bronze paint is removed from the laser engraver, resulting in a bare metal image.  The black lettering is the marking spray that is applied to the bare metal image, then lasered again. The result is quite nice!  For unpainted metal, the spray is directly applied and lasered in one pass.

Laser marking is good for etching images onto tools, applying barcodes to metal products, and much more.  If you are interested in trying this technique in the 3D Lab, please let me know.  One company that sells marking spray is http://www.thermark.com

 

The 3D Lab made a road trip to the Salvation Army in Northeast Ohio located in Wooster.  Apart from their soup kitchen, emergency shelter, financial assistance, and other community services, the Salvation Army also offers a Summer Day Camp that keeps kids engaged and active all summer long.  Over 30 kids were introduced to 3D printing and how people use these machines to fix and create everyday items, not excluding toys!  Needless to say, they were excited about it.

After the presentation and talk, a number of kids and community members visited the 3D Lab to learn more about the technology and to create projects of their own.  Young minds inspired to be creative and inventive could mean future engineers to benefit our community one day.

 

Stay tuned next week as we reveal more about the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire slated for May 19, 2018!  If you haven’t signed up already to be part of this free event, please do so here.  It’s a great way to show the community what you’re into.

 

 

  Meet the disabled veteran who prototypes prosthetics for cats:

 

https://makezine.com/2017/10/04/meet-disabled-veteran-who-prototypes-prosthetics-cats

 

  Like donuts?  Here’s a fun school project that creates solar cells from these tasty treats:

 

https://makezine.com/2017/09/19/making-your-own-solar-cells-from-powdered-donuts

 

  Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  The event is free to attend and participate.  To be a maker at the faire, be sure to signup here.  We’d love to have you there!

 

  Don’t miss October’s Maker Monday which is tonight at 7:00 at The Schantz Organ Company!  They will explore a brand new electric car, plan for a Christmas Crafts for Kids event, discuss an upcoming Fusion 360 Q & A session, work on CNC machines and 3D printers, and so much more.
We offer a free “listserv” that allows to you ask questions to members in the makerspace. It’s great for sharing ideas, forming friendships, and helping & advising each other. To join, send an email to listserv@lists.uakron.edu with

“SUBSCRIBE MAKERSPACE-GROUP” in the subject line.

 

Until next week,

Tom

 

Meet a Maker! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire

Hello everyone,

Plans are underway for the next Wayne County Mini Maker Faire on May 19th, 2018.  Be sure to mark your calendar to attend and especially to participate as a “maker”.  The Daily Record said it best: “Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’, over 1,300 people flocked to the inaugural faire at the University of Akron Wayne College this past May where they were able to step back in time and see the future at the same time.

But you don’t have to wait until 2018 to enjoy the excitement and awe of Maker Faire.  These events are happening all over the country (and all over the world), over 220 of them each year.  Need inspired?  Check-out pictures and videos from World Maker Faire which rocked New York City two weekends ago.

If you couldn’t make it to New York, you can experience the event with a recording of this live stream.  Going to a World Maker Faire is an experience of a lifetime!

 

For those wondering, what, exactly, is a maker faire, it is “a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these ‘makers’ to show hobbies, experiments, and projects,” according to its website.

 

We are proud to showcase Ohio makers who participated in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  One such person is Ben Ault.  He enjoys learning about the hobby of high powered rocketry. From design to flight and everything in between.  Ben is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University in mechanical and aerospace engineering.  At Case, he was involved in the Rocket Team as vice president and lab manager where he developed his interest in high powered rocketry.

Ben makes and launches mid powered and high powered rockets. He brought a few examples of rockets that he constructed and showed videos and pictures of launches.  Currently, he is building a rocket capable of heights of 10,000-feet or more!  Ben recently used the CNC mill at the Wayne College 3D Lab to carve a window mold  for the nosecone.

 

Rounding out our makers who participated is Steve Kitchen.  He demonstrated the art of flintknapping; faire attendees saw how Native Americans made stone arrowheads of flint from Ohio quarries.  Attendees also saw how the modern knapper uses these colorful pieces to create moving works of art called mobiles.

Steve is a flintknapper and demonstrated the process of making stone arrowheads as the Native Americans did. He brought many examples of reproductions of arrowhead types that would be found in Ohio. He uses arrowheads to make moving artistic mobiles of various types. These were displayed as well. Steve demoed flintknapping for many art fairs and have demoed for the College of Wooster Archeaology Department, many times.

 

If you would like to know more about the Ben’s model rockets or Steve’s flintknapping works,  please reply to this email.

 

Plans are underway for the 2018 Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  The event is free to attend and participate.  To be a maker at the faire, be sure to signup here.  We’d love to have you and participation is free.  Thanks and we look forward to you joining us in 2018!

 

Until next week,

Tom

Blue Tip Festival, a house for our 3D printer, and laser cut elephants

Hello everyone,

It’s amazing that we are three weeks into the Fall 2017 semester at Wayne College.  New students are floating into the 3D Lab, new faces and bright minds.  And many are quite young and very much interested in 3D printing, laser engraving, and creative projects using the lab’s equipment.  The Tools for Engineering class is quite large this semester, so the lab will be a bustling place for most of the semester.  This class will build and battle LEGO Mindstorms robots, designing and 3D printing flashlights, and much more.  It will be an exciting semester!

 

Recently, the 3D Lab made a road trip to the Blue Tip Festival, a five-day celebration of the Wadsworth, Ohio community.  It starts with a world-class parade and the lighting of a giant, twenty-foot blue tip match which lights downtown Wadsworth during the festival’s duration.  The festival then offers attendants their choice of amusement rides, festival foods, midway games, contests, and other entertainment.

Faculty, staff, and myself talked about degrees and services at Wayne College, the 3D Lab, engineering classes, the upcoming Wayne County Mini Maker Faire, and demonstrated 3D printing.  Younger fair attendees were fascinated with the technology, staying at our table for over an hour!  3D printers continually amaze people, even though the technology has been publicly available for a number of years now.  We printed items, some of which went home to fair attendees.  If you haven’t been to the Blue Tip Festival, please visit here to plan for next year’s event!

 

3D printing is a heat sensitive process.  Not only does melted plastic have to be at a proper temperature for melting and laying down layers, but the surrounding air must be warm to prevent rapid cooling, shrinking, and cracking of larger 3D printed parts.  Our large Taz 5 3D printers can print parts almost a foot tall!

To keep the air warm around the printer, 3D Lab staff Nathan designed and built a see-through enclosure using donated acrylic from Wooster Glass Company and side panels from a special resin-like material from The Schantz Organ Company.  Nathan used Solidworks to design corner braces, door handles, and door seals, then printed them with plastic and rubber on the Taz 3D printer.  And the enclosure is a success!  We can print large items with nary a crack nor shrinkage.

 

Earlier in the year, a student wanted to raise awareness and start a fundraiser for elephant tusk poaching in Africa.  She made a hand drawing of an elephant of which we scanned and imported into Corel DRAW.  We converted her hand drawing into vector art, which is a mathematical way of representing a picture.  The laser engraver follows these mathematical lines with a cutting beam.  The result turned out beautifully!  The elephant replicas were cut from 1/8” plywood.  Good job and for a good cause!

 

Stay tuned next week as we report on engineering students starting to build their LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robots!

Tom

 

 

The first full-color 3D printers are ready to hit the market!

https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/xyzprinting-combines-inkjet-fdm-da-vinci-color-3d-printer-pricing-technical-specifications-120704

and

https://hackaday.com/2016/08/18/full-color-3d-printer-upgrade-leaves-competition-in-the-dust/

 

Want to get started with learning Arduino, an inexpensive and easy-to-learn microcontroller?  Here are 20 interesting projects to get you started:

http://www.instructables.com/id/20-Inventive-Arduino-Projects

 

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  The event is free to attend and participate.  To be a maker at the faire, be sure to signup here.  We’d love to have you there!

 

Interested in learning Fusion 360, a free CAD program by AutoDesk?  Stop by Schantz Organ Company at 6:30 p.m. on October 25th with your laptop.  You learn tips from experts and hopefully answer some of your questions, too.  Also, call 330-682-6065 if interested in workshops in flying drones on September 30th or building a 3D printer in January!

 

 

Until next week,

Tom

 

Meet a Maker! Wayne County Mini Maker Faire

Hello everyone,

Plans are underway for the next Wayne County Mini Maker Faire on May 19th, 2018.  Be sure to mark your calendar to attend and especially to participate as a “maker”.  The Daily Record said it best: “Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show and Tell on Earth’, over 1,300 people flocked to the inaugural faire at the University of Akron Wayne College this past May where they were able to step back in time and see the future at the same time.

But you don’t have to wait until 2018 to enjoy the excitement and awe of Maker Faire.  These events are happening all over the country (and all over the world), over 220 of them each year.  Need inspired?  Be sure to attend the largest Maker Faire in the world, the World Maker Faire New York on September 23-24.  Over 120,000 people attend this annual event with over 750 maker exhibits, now in its eighth year!  A wide variety of projects will be exhibited such as microelectronics, 3D printing, drones, and robotics. Also featured will be topics such as arts and crafts, kinetic art, engineering, science, health, virtual reality, fire art, music, and more.  Please click here for more information.

 

For those wondering, what, exactly, is a maker faire, it is “a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these ‘makers’ to show hobbies, experiments, and projects,” according to its website.

We are proud to showcase Ohio makers who participated in the Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  One such person is Dianna Stahl.  She hosted the Learn To Solder booth sponsored by Moog Flo-Tork.  This was one of the most popular booths at the faire!  People of all ages learned to solder robot shaped badges with flashing LED eyes.

Dianna has many years of soldering experience.  She worked in a quality assurance department, inspected circuit boards, and is certified in military soldering specifications.  She is also the president of Ethos Possibility Center, a learning center for advanced technologies and exploration.

Rounding out our makers who participated are students from Lincoln Elementary School.  Their 4th graders created a showcase of design challenges that they shared with the Maker Faire community. The students’ goal is to inspire families and schools to provide design challenge opportunities to even more children.

The project is a collection of over 20 design challenges that their fourth graders have engaged in throughout the school year. Almost every Friday, science teacher Joe Shalala gives his students a design challenge and then lets their incredible creativity loose! Their project is a showcase of the engineering that student have engaged in that will hopefully inspire other families and teachers to provide similar opportunities for their children.

Lincoln students (and a teacher) were at the table to answer questions and describe their thinking as they worked using the design process during construction. They included a hands-on activity (drinking straw rockets) at the booth that participants at the Maker Faire made and took home!

If you would like to know more about the Dianna’s Learn to Solder booth or Joe Shalala’s Lincoln Elementary science projects, please reply to this email.

 

Plans are underway for the 2018 Wayne County Mini Maker Faire!  Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 19, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Wayne County Mini Maker Faire.  The event is free to attend and participate.  To be a maker at the faire, be sure to signup here.  We’d love to have you and participation is free.  Thanks and we look forward to you joining us in 2018!

Until next week,

Tom